Players get taste of quality soccer

Trent Jones watched his under-11 Pinnacles boys soccer team score first in two games but came away without a win.

Penticton Pinnacles keeper Matthew Wilson goes up to block this scoring attempt by a Vernon United forward during action in boys under-11 rep soccer during an annual Jamboree tournament at Kings Park. Vernon won the match 2-1.

Penticton Pinnacles keeper Matthew Wilson goes up to block this scoring attempt by a Vernon United forward during action in boys under-11 rep soccer during an annual Jamboree tournament at Kings Park. Vernon won the match 2-1.

Trent Jones watched his under-11 Pinnacles boys soccer team score first in two games but came away without a win.

“I think they played well going after the ball,” said Jones, whose team was defeated 2-1 by Vernon United and 3-2 against Kamloops. “Played aggressively, just a few missed opportunities on the breakaways.”

Jones’ team was among two boys squads and two girls teams that South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association had participating in the 20-team Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer Association jamboree tournament held at King’s Park on Sunday.

Jones liked what he saw from his group on Sunday and emphasized a focus on their defensive coverage. With their first tournament out of the way, Jones feels his players have soccer sense.

“They work really well together,” he said.

SOYSA administrator Steve Coates loved watching the kids playing soccer after all the organizing that is needed to assure the tournament runs smoothly.

“It’s a buzz of activity,” said Coates, who noted the girls teams went undefeated. “Kids are happy and parents are excited.”

The jamboree provides the age group with its first competitive play as they move on from the mini program. The tournaments are put on by TOYSA each week in a different community. SOYSA will participate in four of the eight during the season. This age group is also part of the Gold program that SOYSA created, which is the introduction for players to then move onto district level once they are 13-years-old.

“This is the first exposure to higher level coaching,” said Coates, who noted the organization has 2,100 registered players.

In other TOYSA action, the 1997 Pinnacle girls tied Kelowna United 0-0. Natasha Riemer was in goal for the Pinnacles. The team then traveled to Summerland to face the Kamloops Blaze and won easily 7-1. Annie Plant led with four goals, while Jessica Castle, Vanessa Harris and Maya Venkatarman rounded out the scoring.